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The most common hiking injuries to look out for

  • Aug 12, 2016

Spending time outdoors is generally a safe and rewarding experience, though hiking and other activities do come with a bit of added risk to be aware of. It is always important to bring a first aid kit when out on the trail and to be proactive about minimizing any risks or hazards.

Here are some of the most common ailments or injuries to watch out for:

Sun burn
As The Clymb pointed out, almost all outdoor activities come with some amount of sun exposure. Even when hiking along a shaded trail, you could wind up with a serious sun burn without taking a few precautions first. Always wear sun screen, and be sure to reapply every so often, especially if you get wet or have been sweating. A wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses will keep your face and neck protected, and long sleeves will ensure that your limbs do not suffer from a painful burn. Use your Pro Trek PRG300-4 Triple Sensor watch to keep an eye on the weather and stay aware of any dangerous conditions. 

Twisted ankle
Even the most well-maintained hiking locations may have trails that are rocky or full of tree roots that can lead to a painful fall or twisted ankle. For that reason, it is important to go slowly and pay attention throughout your trip. If you have had a leg or ankle injury in the past, be sure to wear shoes or boots with plenty of support, and even consider wearing a brace or taping your ankle for extra security. A walking stick or pole may also be helpful for taking weight off of a bad ankle and getting through rough terrain.

Bug bites 
Mosquitos and other flying insects can be a painful nuisance while hiking, while other bugs may deliver more serious bites. For that reason it is important to protect yourself with long-sleeved clothing, tall sacks and bug spray. This way, ticks, ants and other critters cannot reach your extremities and give you a painful bite.

Bee stings can be dangerous, and according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, roughly 1 in 20 individuals is allergic to their stings. These individuals and their families should be cautious when out in the bush and carry any necessary medications or supplies.

Cuts and scrapes
Small abrasions may not pose an immediate health risk, but for anyone on a long hiking trek or camping trip needs to be careful to avoid infections that could severely exacerbate even a small cut. For that reason taking time to clean and dress a wound is critical. If bleeding persists, be sure to consult a doctor or trail guide to consider further treatment.

Wearing protective clothing can minimize the chances of any scrapes or larger lacerations from falling or simply brushing up against a stick or other protrusion. Should you suffer a cut, take the time to cover it fully with a bandage and monitor any signs of infection. Seek medical attention if the wound does not scab over or becomes discolored.